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Don't Get Shortchanged

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How to avoid Shopping Mistakes

Because single bikes in a particular price range have virtually identical performance, it’s hard to make a bad choice. Most bicycle shoppers, therefore, have come to rely on such easy-to-judge criteria as componentry, convenience, discount and image. However, because the performance of tandems differs dramatically, we urge you to avoid the following tandem-shopping pitfalls:

Componentry shoppers select bikes based on their components. While this method works on singles, on tandems it ignores the biting issues—like the frame, fork and wheels. Besides, when you obsess over a label, it’s far too easy to settle for less-suitable yet more-familiar single-bike componentry. Buying a bike for its components is like choosing a car for its stereo. Our advice—forget component specs and buy overall performance.

Convenience shoppers limit themselves to the selection and expertise of a favorite nearby shop. Unfortunately, most shops don’t carry tandems. And when they do have one, it’s usually from one of their major suppliers. What’s wrong with a major brand tandem? They are notoriously short-lived—ask anyone who bought a tandem marketed by Litespeed, Specialized, Fuji, GT, Cannondale, Fisher, Trek and Schwinn. Who’s next? It’s anyone’s guess. This instant obsolescence brings service problems, discontinued parts and poor resale values. Santana dealers make a substantial commitment to tandeming, and finding one is always worth the effort.

Discount shoppers sacrifice all for the “killer deal.” Because many shoppers expect discounts, major brands post inflated list prices. Because Santana uses straightforward pricing, our dealers can’t counter with a bogus discount. Consumers who look for the best value instead of the biggest discount always win.

Finally, prestige shoppers may imagine that a celebrity framebuilder famous for head-turning singles can provide a better tandem. Think twice. How big is the alignment table? What tube-sets will they use? Will you have a choice of materials? Do they offer the features you need? What do they know about tandem geometry? How many tandems have they built? Twenty? 400? Today, over 50,000 discriminating enthusiasts enjoy the benefit of Santana’s dedication and experience. When it comes to performance, longevity, value and workmanship, nothing beats a Santana.